So, I know I said I was going to have time for these now, and I thought it was true. I forgot saying that gives the “How could things get any worse” effect. I almost got my first house, then we backed out to rent so the wife could focus on school. Which means moving time and all that fun stuff, and it happened all of a sudden. Like always. But then, if The Hobbit was called “An Expected Journey”, it probably wouldn’t have been as good.
As I mentioned… Some time… ago, I got a writing job. Yay! And for those of you English-y people out there, I implore you to hold out for the same thing. Sure, I’m not yet spending my days writing awesome books and having someone decide they’ll pay me to do it, but if you have to Daylight as something, it should be what you love to do, or as close as you can get.
See, I went to school for an ultra-intensive writing degree. It’s so unusual, I’m the only one at the university who even has it–and they don’t have a name for it. I waited to find work as a writer because I’ve known for some time that I’ll never be building underground tubes that revolutionize travel or build an actual lightsaber or anything like that. I can’t even build a child’s lego set properly.
Do what you love
I’m actually not good at most things. Surprise.
And I like even less. I probably have some condition or something, because I’ve been focused on doing one thing my whole life and hate everything else, so much so that my career test in High School gave me the career of “You don’t seem to have any interests. Go see a counselor.” How encouraging.
Of course that’s not true. I have like, two interests. A lot of us in the writing biz, that’s what we focus on. So it’s painful for me to see clever writers end up as accountants, or marine biologists, or astronauts, or any other lame non-writing job.
Compromise, but don’t quit!
“But Mr. D. Thomas, I only want to write books!” So do I, Sanka, so do I. But I also had to make some dollars and give my wife the chance to become the best nurse of all time. And I could go do something I’m terrible at and hate, or something I’m good at.
And no, it’s not the same as Noveling. But there are several reasons how working a writing job has already helped for my endgame:
- I write every day. I did that before too, but a lot of people have trouble with that. Now that rent depends on it, it’s not like I can just back out. And even though it’s not novels, the practice still helps. Wax on, wax off.
- I can research faster. My job is in marketing and I write web content for small businesses. And as a result, I learn a lot about industries I never would’ve bothered looking into before. Sound familiar?
- Many skills I’ve already learned will be transferable. Being in SEO, I’m learning how Google interprets pages and how to be found, which will be invaluable when I want people to find my books when I get a publisher later on.
- WordPress is our primary website publisher. So now I can do a lot more in WordPress like cool formatting popup boxes. And now I know I’ll need a new premium theme for my site to make it look nice. So why doesn’t this post look like anything special? I’m waiting for them to finalize the new theme choice over the next month so I can get the same one and be better home and abroad. Brilliant, I know.
- I’m not in retail. Which means I get holidays and weekends off, and we do 10 hour days so I get a three day weekend to still work on the next novel. And go to theme parks while kids are in school.
Never give up, trust your instincts!
That old codger Peppy had it right… Sort of. Okay, maybe just when I’m cherry-picking situations. But still, to all of you Creative Writing degree people out there: Hold out for a writing job if you can. And if not, do what you have to but keep searching. These days where we’re both writers and literary businesspeople, you might find it pays off in the end.